Sun. Jun 13th, 2021

The Usuthu coach believes they can see off their rivals and finish second to Mamelodi Sundowns

AmaZulu head coach Benni McCarthy has stressed the need to beat Orlando Pirates and potentially finish second on the Premier Soccer League table.

Although Usuthu have had an impressive campaign so far, McCarthy has conceded the title race but his focus is finishing in second place in the end. The game could determine the side that will grab second position. 

“It might be late to challenge Sundowns but we have to do it for ourselves. It wasn’t by chance that we played the football that we have played and won the matches that we have won,” the retired Bafana Bafana star said.

“We worked exceptionally hard and made immense sacrifices, so hopefully come Thursday the boys have the same hunger, the same desire to want to win. Hopefully, it will be a game that will secure our stronghold on that second-place finish.”

McCarthy also talked about how the over two-week break could impact his players during the tie at Orlando Stadium on Thursday.

“I hope the boys will be fresh and hungry because the next three games are like three Cup finals for us. It’s the first time the club has been in this situation,” he added.

“It’s been a long 16 days since we last played Baroka. At least it gave us an opportunity to work on some tactics. I would have enjoyed it more if it gave us the opportunity to play a couple of friendly games because our opponents have played two really tough competitive games.

“But I am happy with the attitude and mentality of the boys, preparation has been good and now we just have to show it in a real match come Thursday.”

Meanwhile, Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer believes his unstable side can pick a win against AmaZulu despite the good form they have enjoyed.

“It’s possible. You have to win against AmaZulu‚ then it’s entirely possible. It’s not easy but it’s possible‚” Zinnbauer said.

“They are a strong team at the moment and they have successful players there. They have points ahead of us and it will be a good game for us, and we are looking forward to it.”

As Usuthu look to build on a good run they have had in the previous 14 games, eyes will be on Luvuyo Memela and Lehlohonolo Majoro who have been quite instrumental in their last five games. Memela has scored twice in their last three games while Majoro – a former Orlando Pirates star – has found the back of the net on three occasions.

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